Military / Civil War
On April 9, 1865, General Ulysses S. Grant and General Robert E. Lee met in the home of Wilmer McLean at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, to negotiate the surrender of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to the United States Army.
Sitting in the chair on the right, Grant discussed the fate of Lee's troops. Then, leaning over the oval table, he drafted and signed the final terms of surrender. While there were still Confederate troops in the field under other commanders, Lee's surrender effectively marked the end of the Civil War.
Union officers, recognizing the significance of the event, individually took pieces of furniture as souvenirs. General E. W. Whitaker grabbed Lee's chair, General Henry Capehart claimed Grant's chair, and General Philip Sheridan took the table and presented it to the wife of Major General George Amstrong Custer. In three separate donations, by 1915, these items were reunited at the Smithsonian Institution.
Object images and interpretive text provided by the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History (NMAH)
Wood. H 115.6, W 47, D 50.8 cm
Pine. H 68.6, L 81.3, W 50.8 cm
Wood. H 95.2, W 55.2, D 44.5 cm